Gary Stead 'close' to naming Black Caps' WTC final team but weather, pitch present challenges

India may have already named their team for tonight's World Test Championship final but the Black Caps and coach Gary Stead are holding off until the toss to make the most-informed choice possible.

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The Black Caps coach kept his cards close despite some cheeky attempts by Breakfast host John Campbell to find out who was in. Source: Breakfast

Stead spoke to Breakfast this morning ahead of the opening day of the final tonight in Southampton and despite a cheeky attempt from host John Campbell to find out who the final 11 are, Stead had his blocks ready.

"It's amazing the number of Indian people that want to know [our team] as well," Stead joked.

"We're just putting that on hold until tomorrow until we get down there."

Stead said part of the reason for holding off on naming his team was due to the changing nature of the pitch which could have a big impact on the formation of his bowling attack.

With poor weather forecast that threatens to stop any action tonight too, there were plenty of factors to consider.

"The greener the pitch, the more chance you'll play pace bowlers," Stead explained.

"The browner the pitch or dusty the pitch is when you're more likely to play spin bowlers or slower bowlers.

"There was a small green tinge on [the Southampton pitch] - it's been interesting because we've been watching it over the last three days and it's actually greened up over the last couple of days.

"They cut a bit of grass off it today but it's still a light green colour."

When it comes to selecting the team though, Stead said while there were difficult choice to make, it was also a luxury to have "an embarrassment of riches" to have for the match.

"We brought people in in that last Test [against England] and they performed really well and sometimes that creates more of a headache but that's a great place to be in," he said.

"I'm really proud of the way that the team have played over the last few years though - it's been true to our style of play and I'm just hoping we can get out there tomorrow and put our best foot forward."

Stead did reveal one small secret to Campbell though, albeit about their strategy and not the make up of the team.

"The pitch is still favouring towards bowling at this stage from looking at it so I imagine if we won the toss, we'd do that."